Ashok and the Nine Unknown | Book Review

Title: Ashok and the Nine Unknown

Author: Anshul Dupare

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Genre: Historial Fiction

Page Count: 224

Published: November, 2018

Rating: 4/5

You know what, the best revenge will be watching you failing to achieve your dreams. Do what you can, Ashok. The game has just begun!
Ashok wandered amidst the corpses, helplessly, looking like a dead man walking among the dead. The wailing of people who had lost their loved ones on the battlefield cut into his soul and it was then that he heard a cry for help.
As realization of the devastation of war seeped in, Ashok decided to dedicate his life towards the betterment of society and try his best to prevent any destruction of life. Realizing he could not do so single-handedly, Ashok created a secret society comprising nine chosen members, who were known as the ‘Nine Unknown’, to help preserve knowledge that, in the wrong hands, could be used to destroy humanity.
Little did Ashok know that the safekeeping of such knowledge had a high price to it; that shadows walk amidst us and that sometimes our actions unspool unimaginable consequences.
The first of two volumes, this book has the power to transform your idea of reality!


Historical fictions are wonderful ways to learn about a time in history as well as to fall into a great story. But, there are many few authors who write a good historical fiction which is not boring, and I came across a similar book called “Ashok and the nine known”.

The book begins at Kalinga war which resulted in such a loss of life that Ashok was filled with remorse for what he has done. The book showed his journey as he decided not only to personally convert to Buddhism, but he also applied the Buddhist principles to the way he ruled his empire. The story gets intense as Amartya decides to take revenge from Ashoka for the Kalinga war. If I say anything more about the story, it would be a huge spoiler and I don’t want to take away the essence of this book. So, you have to read the book to know what happens next.

Writing a historical fiction demands a lot of research, and the author has done it very carefully. There are some pictures at the beginning of the book which gives an insight into the ancient history along with some facts.

The cover is very captivating and relevant to the story, and it also makes the readers curious about the nine unknown. The book starts off a little slow, and the narration is mediocre, but the story is so good that once you’re hooked you won’t stop until you reach the last page.

Although, the book is basically historical fiction, but as you will dive deep into the story, you will realise it’s more than just history, it has the elements of Fantasy, magic, mystery, action and what not.

The thing which I liked the most is the philosophy I have noticed in the conversations between major characters. One of such philosophy is-
“Good times teach you to be grateful while bad times teach you to be patient. Good time teach you to cherish what you have while bad times teach you to be hopeful.”

The ending of this book leaves various questions in mind which will be answered in its sequel. I wish I get to read the sequel of “Ashok & The nine unknown” as soon as the book comes out.

About the Author:

Anshul Dupare likes to explore novel ideas and unexplored avenues through his writing. Originally from Nagpur, he was brought up in Madhya Pradesh and has spent most of his life in different parts of India.
An alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa and Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), creative writing has been his hobby for a long time and he also writes poetry. He is an avid traveller, a voracious reader and is fond of chess and basketball.
He currently resides in Dallas, USA.

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